Picture it: a writing room. Everything is set up perfectly — the keyboard has been cleaned, there is tea in a mug, steeping to perfection, and the lighting is just right. A writer, a person burdened with the purpose of creating fiction that captivates their reader, saunters over to the desk and sits. With a quick adjustment of their knuckles, a symphony of cracking joints serves as the prelude to a session of creation unseen since “let there be light.” Except …the writer’s hands remain sedentary. What should be a passionate tango of language dancing across the surface of the keyboard is nothing but a middle school dance where everyone is glued to the wall.
Writer’s Block. See, inspiration is fleeting, and there is only so much “I’ll give you something to cry about” you can tell yourself to get the words to come. Unfortunately, sometimes the words get stopped up. We can all hope that medical and literary science will come up with a word laxative to treat prose constipation, but we’re going to be waiting a while. Much like actual constipation, there are home remedies for the condition, and they aren’t always pretty.
For this week’s blog, I’m sharing some writing prompts that may serve as the literary castor oil and bacon grease that’s going to make you more regular (that’s the last constipation joke, I swear!).
Continue reading “Creative Writing: Writing Prompts to Beat Writer’s Block”
When I released my first novel, “Broken Promise Records,” there were a good amount of folks who were surprised that I had an interest in creative writing, because I never talked about it. That opened the conversation for some, who said “I’d like to write stories, but I don’t know where to start.” That always struck a chord with me because I remember that exact feeling. Because of that, I always tried to be encouraging to the people who wanted to write, but didn’t know where to start. When you see me encourage people to pick up the pen and take a leap, that’s why.
A while ago, I posted a blog about Exploring the W’s as a creative writing exercise. I had a lot of fun sharing that and so I wanted to continue on that line of thinking. The only sure-fire way to improve your writing is to write and write often. Writing exercises, like physical ones, stretch and strengthen your creative writing ability. You don’t just wake up, go to the gym for the first time, and start bench pressing 350. You have to work and build up to that. For this week’s blog, I wanted to share a few writing exercises that I’ve used, and may hopefully encourage you to pick up that pen and write.
Continue reading “Creative Writing: Writing Exercises – Volume 1”
Millerverse (mil’әr|vurs) n. The collective fictional universe where all novels of A.P. Miller exists & takes place.
If I were to sit down with a Moshannon Valley Junior-Senior High School yearbook and tell you which of my classmates was going to be a novelist, it sure as hell wouldn’t be me. My buddy since first grade (and we still keep in contact), Matt, was the writer. In 6th grade, Matt would write stories, and I’d write to share something with one of my friends. Even into high school, Matt was writing in his notebook and he was writing good stuff. Inadvertently, Matt letting me write with him gave birth to the Millerverse.
During one of my “I can’t wait to show my friend” comp book ramblings, I took a character from a previously written story and injected them into the story I’d written. Anyone who enjoys the yearly Arrowverse Crossover, or got giddy during the first Avengers movie, knows exactly what I’m talking about. That notebook crossover sparked a concept I carried with me in the back of my mind. I knew then I wanted to create an expanded universe. While editing “Days of the Phoenix,” I realized the opportunity had arrived!
Continue reading “Big Bang: The Birth of the Millerverse”
I’m going to be honest: I’m not always the supreme creativity machine I’d have you believe I am. Sometimes I am scratching my head for story ideas and blog topics. Like Richard Gere stopping by a street corner and talking to Julia Roberts, sometimes I need professional help for my dilemma. I’m also cheap, so I’m not paying for it either. So …I guess Richard Gere wouldn’t be stopping to talk to Julia Roberts, but someone who says people say she looks like Julia Roberts (when we all know damn well no one said it but her grandma, and Grandma thinks Julia Roberts is the girl who works at the bank).
Today, I was cruising through a blog idea generator, and nothing struck. What did tickle me pink was some of the concepts, which gave me an idea in and of itself. This week, I’m going to take some of those blog topics and add my own wise-ass commentary to it. In the topic field, I typed “Writing” and got some really interesting responses.
Continue reading “Buying Bottled Water When the Well Runs Dry — A Search for Blog Topics”
Like any other profession, or endeavor, I have to keep my storytelling skills sharp. A baseball player will spend hours in the batting cage, a quarterback will spend eons throwing passes and memorizing plays, and welders will bind countless pieces of metal together until they are happy with their ability to weld. These practices and drills never stop. Much like them, the moment that I become complacent with my abilities to tell stories is the same day when my skills become stagnant and begin becoming irrelevant.
As a writer, I am constantly looking to explore the reaches of my imagination, and put my creative brain center in a place where it has to operate under certain levels of duress — essentially, I am training my brain to come up with the most compelling and entertaining stories in the shortest amount of time. Like going to the batting cage, I’ll engage in writing exercises to get those parts of my brain active, functional, and ready for immediate use.
Continue reading “Creative Writing: Exploring the W’s”